The question of when to talk to your children, when you live in a repressive dictatorship was something I remember from reading James Michener’s essay into political reporting The Bridge at Andau; an account into the Hungarian Revolt of 1956 against the Soviet Union, published the following year. There came a time when parents of school-aged children, Michener wrote, had to open up to their children, if they were anti-Soviet dissidents, religious, or simply Hungary-first patriots. It was a fine line; either live a lie in front of your children regarding your own beliefs, and at worst, see them irretrievably buy into the whole Soviet system if you left it too late, or trusting that they were sufficiently mature, to be adept at concealing such dissident beliefs in front of their schoolfellows, Communist-indoctrinated teachers – and informers among them. How old did your children need to be, before they could dissemble in front of peers, teachers and spying informants among them? It was a matter of deep concern to Hungarian parents, as Michener related. (Parenthetically, as a teenager and young adult I had never been the least bit enchanted by the golden chimera of communism in any guise. Growing up, my parents knew too many people who had fled from Communist-dominated or threatened countries and had heart-rending stories to tell of their experiences in living in and fleeing Cuba, Russia, Eastern Europe, the far East. Reading Michener’s account of the Hungarian Revolt definitely drew a line under my antipathy towards all-powerful dictatorships of the so-called proletariat.)

So the Department of Homeland Security – a governmental entity which just by it’s very name, sends nasty chills down my back – has funded a program to train teachers, ostensibly in something called ‘media literacy’ but which in practice looks more like monitoring students and their families political and religious beliefs, directing them in the preferred set of progressive doctrines and encouraging kids to inform on their peers … or their families who dissent from such doctrines. (This linked post on Legal Insurrection goes into greater and unsettling detail.) I should think that parents of school-aged children would be looking at this so-called ‘media literacy’ with considerable alarm; it has even more dangerous implications than pushing gender-confusion and outright porn for the elementary-school set. Exactly how many other school systems are participating in this program?

This is all of a piece with authoritarian dictatorships across the political spectrum; get ahold of the youth through the education system, mold them into the new man/woman/whatever, encourage them to inform on their families and peers, and reward them with praise, honors, after the example of Pavlik Morozov, the Boy Hero of the Soviets. I wonder if membership in a new organized youth group is part of Homeland Security’s long-term plans for their properly-indoctrinated school-aged cadres. Perhaps the Department’s experts are considering cute uniforms for participating student participants; something with brown shirts and black shorts, or maybe a bright red neckerchief. Discuss as you wish – and is this program being utilized in your local school district?

I’ve been cynically amused over the past couple of weeks at how efficiently the Laptoperati and Twitter-fixated media Powers That Be have swung to “Russia Bad-Ukraine Brave & Noble!!! Eleventy!!” since the Russian invasion-attempted-occupation-re-occupation of the place began in a big way nearly two weeks ago. How can it now be World War III already, when we still have our Covid-19 decorations still up? Watching practically every media outlet swing into action in being all sympathies for Ukraine and all-hate on Russia is … astonishing. All the parties who would have been lighting candles, holding vigils for peace, and lecturing us about how war is not good for children and other living things, and no blood for oil have changed tune without missing a beat, hardly. Suddenly Vladimir Putin is the enemy of all that is good and decent, and everyone is rushing to declare sympathy with and support of the Ukraine, declare anything Russian to be double-plus-ungood, and throwing Russian cats out of cat shows, Anna Netrebko out of the Met, and vodka with a Russian-origin brand-name down the drain. Celebrity fools with pretensions to adequacy issue hysterical demands that Russia be thrown out of NATO, or that NATO enforce a no-fly zone over the Ukraine – never mind that Russia wasn’t a member of that organization and instituting a no-fly zone would almost instantly involve the United States. The turn-around is purely astonishing to behold; a hashtag/social media war on steroids.

It reminds me of the last time there was a grand virtue-signaling rush on social media – Kony 2012, anyone? Bring back the Chibok girls. It also reminds me of a minor running jest in Angela Thirkell’s early wartime Barsetshire novels. A pair of elderly spinsters keep renaming their pet dog after the leader or national hero of whatever nation that Hitler had just lately overrun as a pathetically useless gesture of support for plucky little (insert name of country here) which likely left the poor little dog terribly confused, as there were quite a few countries or regions invaded by the Nazis in the late 1930s and early 1940s. But that was just light fiction.
About the last time the American public went in this heavily for round of ostentatious wartime virtue-signaling, it involved re-christening sauerkraut as Liberty cabbage, throwing stones at dachshunds, and a lot of German-Americans legally changing their surnames to something less identifiably Teutonic. It also contributed to wishing Prohibition on us, which might suggest that ostentatious virtue-signaling is not a wise choice when it comes to suggesting national policy.

Was the signal sent out officially, by some version of Journolist, or is it just a matter of all the birds in a media flock pivoting and turning independently in response to hints that the Biden administration may be in deep doo-doo? My daughter just yesterday saw gas at almost $4.00 – and last week, it jumped ten cents in a single day. In San Antonio. These costs cannot continue without resentment and protest. Neither can the cost of basic groceries, or their erratic delivery to the store shelves. I can’t think that whoever is pulling the strings in the Biden administration deliberately fomented a war with Russia as a means of distracting Americans from the various disasters building; inflation in the costs of practically every commodity on the market, catastrophic crime rates in red-run cities and farming and transportation woes. We may safely assume, though. that the Biden administration powers-that-be are taking full advantage of, and even encouraging the Ukraine-Russian war to that end. Discuss as you wish.

27. February 2022 · Comments Off on A Bodyguard of Lies · Categories: European Disunion, Media Matters Not, Military, The Bear, War, World

It’s screamingly obvious to anyone save perhaps the most gullible in a present-day university history program, that attempting to research the events and conduct of a war – and figuring out what is happening while the war is still ongoing is an impossibility. Were the defenders of Snake Island all killed in a Russian barrage … or are they alive, and prisoners of war? Is the Russian advance going as clockwork towards their goals … or are they being turned back? Have Ukrainian fighter aircraft shot down a Russian transport aircraft? Successfully ambushed a Russian column on an unspecified mission here or there in the conflict zone? Who is coming out ahead, dead or alive, on the ground or in the struggle for the eyeballs and sympathies of the outside world, watching with unswerving attention? What are we being told, and what is there to gain from us believing it?
The grim truth is – really, we can’t really believe much of what we see or hear about the war in the Ukraine at present. No armchair generals at this group blog, merely a collection of somewhat well-informed amateur (<em>and perhaps a sprinkling of professional</em>) analysists trying to make sense of what we can see, dimly through the fog. Truth is a nugget of pure gold somewhere in that fog and dirt; finding it may be more a matter of pure luck. <!–more–>

As Winston Churchill so cogently observed – the truth is protected with a bodyguard of lies. What’s in the headlines of the established media outlets certainly can’t be taken for that truth, and perhaps it never did, as the established media themselves are certainly not immune to being manipulated by clever and convincing operatives with an agenda. Social media like Twitter are not be all that credible, either, being as much given to repeating disinformation produced by a calculated campaign as the established news media. The best that we might have to go on is brief communications from people whom we have previously known and trusted, who – for reasons of profession and family – might be on the scene or adjacent. Anecdote is not date – but at this moment, it’s all that we have. The search for that golden truth nugget may be easier once all the dust is settled, the memoirs written and the official archives declassified … but then those historians on the search will have their own firmly held, hotly-defended theories, which will be good for a different kind of wrangling, when the fog of battle has cleared and the dust has settled. Discuss as you feel fit and qualified to observe.